Hayes Lemmerz International, Inc. purchased certain assets from Hayes Wheels Aluminio, S.A. de C.V., which operated a cast aluminum wheel plant in Chihuahua, Mexico. The Chihuahua aluminium wheel plant has been renamed “Hayes Lemmerz Aluminio, S. de R.L. de C.V.” and will be part of Hayes Lemmerz’ International Wheel Group.
Hayes Lemmerz has named Fred Bentley (38) as president of the company’s European Wheel Group, succeeding Giancarlo Dallera, who has retired. Bentley joined Hayes Lemmerz in 2001, before which he held senior positions with Honeywell Consumer Products and AlliedSignal. In his new post, he reports direct to Curtis Clawson, chairman of the board and CEO, and will have responsibility for the European Fabricated Wheel and Cast Aluminium Wheel businesses, plus wheel operations in Brazil, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and India.
History was made at the Le Mans 24 Hour race, with Bentley Speed Eights coming first and second – the first time since 1930 that Bentley has been on the podium. Guy Smith drove the car over the finishing line – the first time he had finished a Le Mans race, in contrast to team-mate Tom Kristensen, for whom this year’s victory made it four in a row. The drivers paid tribute to the Michelin tyres, saying that they “played a big part”. Bentley’s victory ended three years of domination by Audi, who had to settle for third and fourth this time around.
For their 2003 racing programme, Michelin will become Bentley’s exclusive supplier in competition. This partnership involves the development and supply of tyres for preliminary testing at Sebring and the Le Mans 24 hour race. On the production car side, Michelin will become the supply partner for the new Bentley Continental GT.
The last Rolls-Royce to be made at the factory in Crewe has rolled off the production line, marking the end of 56 years of manufacture of the luxury car at the plant. In future, Rolls-Royces will be made at BMW’s factory in West Sussex and the Crewe plant will be renamed Bentley Motors Ltd. next month. The final vehicle was a unique two-door Silver Storm convertible Corniche, worth an estimated 250,000 Pounds.
As announced at the Detroit Motorshow, the new Bentley EXP Speed 8 will be exclusively equipped with Dunlop tyres for the 2001 Le Mans 24 hour race. This renews a 70 year old motorsport partnership. For many years the tyre brand has had a strong connection with Le Mans: exactly half the total number of winners have driven on Dunlop tyres.
Light alloy wheel supplier Ronal has been honoured by the Volkswagen Group with the Corporate Supplier Award “The Leading Edge”. Ronal is a supplier of the car brands VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda and has also received new development orders for the prestigious Bentley brand.